Hay Festival Arequipa unveils dynamic programme for 9th edition

Hay Festival has announced the line-up for its ninth edition in Peru, Hay Festival Arequipa 2023, bringing writers and readers together in-person and online, 9–12 November.

Explore the full programme and book tickets now at hayfestival.org/arequipa where you can also register for the free online livestreams.  

Over four days, more than 109 events take place across venues all over the city, featuring 145 artists launching the best new fiction and non-fiction, while engaging with some of the biggest issues of our time including the climate crisis and energy security, technology and the challenges to democracy, and a strand of events highlighting the important role of indigenous languages. 

For nine years, Peru’s leading festival of literature and the arts, Hay Festival Arequipa, has shared the latest ideas in the arts, sciences and current affairs, while Hay Joven and Hay Festivalito workshops and conversations for young people ensure the Festival reaches the widest possible audience. 

Alongside this, the fifth edition of pop-up event Hay Forum Moquegua will also take place as writers and readers gather on 8 November in southern Peru, offering eight events to reach wider audiences. 

Hay Festival international director Cristina Fuentes La Roche said: “In this time of global upheaval, here is a programme of conversations to uplift, challenge and offer hope. From the climate crisis and challenges to democracy, to impacts of the new technology revolution, there is much fuel for debate at Hay Festival Arequipa for four essential days of storytelling and exchange. Together again with an array of acclaimed artists, thinkers and innovators, let’s imagine the world anew.”


Acclaimed Peruvian writers lead the programme with new work, including novelists Renato Cisneros and Rafael Dumett, Gustavo Rodríguez (Cien cuyes; Casi todo desaparece), Verónica Ramirez, Jorge Alejandro Ccoyllurpuma (Paraíso tropical andino), Juan Acevedo (El Cuy); Carlos Yushimito (El peso inevitable de las palomas), Alonso Cueto (Francisca, princesa del Perú), y nos acompañará la autora cusqueña Karina Pacheco. Además, plus the traditional opening Gala de poesía will blend local and national talents in a showcase of new poetry.

International literary greats take centre-stage with new work shared by Eduardo Sacheri (Nosotros dos en la tormenta), Dolores Reyes (Miseria), Mohamed El Morabet (El otoño de los jilgueros), Guillermo Arriaga (Extrañasy), Daniel Saldaña París (El baile y el incendio), Lina Meruane, Lola Shoneyin (La vida secreta de las esposas de Baba Segui) Eley Williams and Karrie Franksman (El diccionario del mentiroso), Catherine Lacey (Biografía de X), Katherina Volckmer (La cita), Gonçalo Tavares (Pelicunachakuna/Cortometrajes), Laura Alcoba (A través del bosque), Miguel Bonnefoy (El Inventor), Alonso Sánchez Baute (La mirada de Humilda) and Humberto de la Calle ( La inverosímil muerte de Hércules Pretorius), plus poets Luis García Montero and Marta Jiménez Serrano (No todo el mundo), Marina Perezagua (Nana de la Medusa) and Pilar Adón (De bestias y Aves).

Latin American societies today come into focus in conversations with philosophers, scientists and ecologists, including neurosurgeon Henry Marsh on healthcare; ecologists Martín Ibarrola and Josefa Sánchez on the ecosystems of the Amazon and the conservation of the territory; social anthropologist Pedro Favarón on the Andean, Amazonian and North American indigenous peoples; philosopher Richard Firth-Godbehere on the role of human emotions in universal history and culture; ecologist Brigitte Baptiste on biodiversity, sociologists Azahara Alonso and Roberto Palacio on our age of anxiety; tech journalist Marta Peirano on climate denialism; and LGBTQI+ activist Silvia Vásquez Lavado on what her life as a mountaineer has taught her.

World-leading journalism comes to the fore in conversations with war correspondents Emma Graham Harrison (The Guardian) and Lindsey Hilsum (Channel 4) on reporting from conflict zones; French reporter Christiane Félip Vidal on women in war; Ecuadorian journalist Sabrina Duque and Peruvian writer Paola Ugaz on free speech; plus Jugo de Caigua, an independent platform made up of committed writers, invites audiences to a special event to debate the biggest questions facing Peru today. 

Changing geopolitics and current affairs offer a strand of discussions throughout the Festival, featuring geostrategist Pedro Baños and politician Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo on the shifting global powers; philosopher Daniel Innerarity on democratic freedom; journalist Sergio del Molino on Spain’s political dynastys; political scientist Fernando Tuesta on how we can ensure fair elections; author Alberto Vergara on fraud in politics; historian Natalia Sobrevilla on the political lessons from Peru’s recent past; city planner Carlos Moreno on how we live now; plus our continued strand of events in partnership with Lviv BookForum spotlighting Ukrainian thinkers on the current war.

Education and outreach remain central to programming on stage and off as Hay Festival Arequipa eplores and celebrates equality in conversations with activist Djamila Ribeiro; writers Teresina Muñoz-Nájar and Marie Arana; indigenous language researchers Vabi Miguel Toribio and Roberto Zariquiey; educators Daniela Rotalde, Francesca Uccelli Labarthe and Jorge Bedregal de la Vera; and former Minister of Education of Peru and Global Director of Education at the World Bank Jaime Saavedra. Meanwhile, BBC Mundo will showcase their new documents on the extraordinary rescue of books banned during the military regimes in Chile and Argentina, followed by a conversation with Alejandro Millán and Juan Carlos Pérez. 

There’s music and entertainment too at the Festival as Colombian singer and songwriter Andrea Echeverri will surprise with the show Ruiseñora; L E N I N – the stage name of Lenin Tamayo Pinares, recognized as the creator of Q-pop, a fusion between the world-popular South Korean K-pop and Andean music in Quechua and Spanish – will talk about his career in this new musical trend; María Toro, Antonio Miguel, David Sancho and Naíma Acuña perform; Mariela Noles Cotito shares her latest play, Recuerdos de octubre; plus film director Natalia Beristain talks to actress Miguel Barreda about her novel.

Hay Festivalito, the vibrant programme for families at Hay Festival Arequipa, includes activities exploring the impacts of colonialism, run by the Lima Art Museum; brothers Andrea, Claudia and Cristóbal Paz with their popular sing-a-long story Chimoc en Machu Picchu; cooks Pía León and Malena Martínez offering live recipe demonstrations; and performances from writers Ralph Bauer and Julia Viñas.

Hay Joven, the free programme of student workshops running through Hay Fesitval Arequipa, includes sessions on journalism with the BBC, creative writing with Daniel Saldaña París and Dolores Reyes, and more than 17 other interactive activities, supported by the Universidad Continental and the Universidad Católica Santa Maria.